Archive for December, 1998

REFLECTIONS AT CHRISTMAS-TIME ABOUT TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Wednesday, December 9th, 1998

I know I have said this before, but at this time of the year it may be good to consider it again. While we, in the western world, are hotly de-bating the lack of high-speed Internet links, ac-cess to cable modems or a 500-channel satellite TV service, more than half of the world’s popu-lation still have to make their first telephone call.

Many people in Nicaragua, Sudan or Bangladesh – to mention just a few of the many nations on earth that are suffering from natural or man-made disasters, or are simply poverty-stricken – don’t have to make decisions like we do about whether to do their Christmas shopping on the Net or at the Mall. There is no money and therefore there is no shop.

While we are talking about huge decreases in cost which will enable us to build the latest tele-communications networks very cheaply we should also start looking at how we, as a global society and specifically as an industry, could improve the lives of the billions of people who are still suffering from a lack of very basic goods and services.

Telecommunications can make a difference here and I think it is our obligation to use the knowl-edge and resources we have at our disposal to help create a better world. Key developments could include:

· off-the-shelf mobile networks that can be deployed within a few days in disaster zones,

· tele-education systems linking the poorer countries into national and international education programs

· tele-health services providing local health carers with access to hi-tech hospitals around the globe for advice, medical opin-ions and even remote surgery (as trialed in Canada)

· Village-based tele-centres with mobile phone, fax and Internet facilities to stimu-late local businesses to build up their own local economies (already successful in Bangladesh and under review in South Af-rica)

Look at the late Fred Hollows – cheap eye-lens technologies made it possible for one individual to make all the difference in the world. A similar low-cost trend is occurring in the telecommuni-cations world and we need our own Fred Hol-lows to start working within our area of exper-tise.

Paul Budde

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IP FAX – DECEMBER 1998

Tuesday, December 1st, 1998

With the universal use of faxing it seems unlikely that there will be a quick migration from the fax machine to IP Fax. However, the significant cost savings are causing businesses to constantly review their fax services. Already a large number of faxes have been replaced by e-mail and the fax gets used less and less, and then mainly for documents that are not computer-generated by the company concerned.

Further, more fax bureaus are offering unified messaging services. A fax can be attached to an e-mail and sent via the fax bureau to the recipient. While this is sometimes problematic when faxes are sent to older fax machines, it works in 90% of cases.

International fax costs can be reduced in this way by 30%-70%. This service also pumps new blood into the fax bureaus who all went through some tough times during the mid-1990s. Outsourcing of faxes is now the largest growth market in the fax industry, currently growing at a rate of above 40% per annum.

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ENGAGED DIVERT TO YOUR WEB PHONE – DECEMBER 1998

Tuesday, December 1st, 1998

Another innovative use of IP telephony comes from Telstra, reported in the US magazine Sounding Board.

Telstra was used as an example of a trend to place a lot of intelligent network functions outside the circuit-switched network and onto an IP network. All call management activities could thus, for example, take place over IP.

Telstra is using NetSpeak software to provide a virtual second-line to customers using the Internet to overcome the lack of second line physical drops into the homes. The NetSpeak gateway looks like a peer in Telstra’s Advanced Intelligent Network (AIN). Calls can thus be directed to the virtual second line and makes the Web phone ring on the customer’s PC.

Other AIN applications such 1800 services and call centre applications can be performed over these IP-based virtual networks.

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TELECOMCONNECT – FREE TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION HIGHWAY PORTAL SERVICE – DECEMBER 1998

Tuesday, December 1st, 1998

Inviting you to participate

We are proud to introduce to you, free of charge, the beta version of TelecomConnect, our new telecommunications portal service.

We already offer you the largest telecommunications market research site on the Internet. We now also hope to be able to offer you the largest telecommunications portal service.

Portals are Web sites where a user can begin a search for information. In a recent survey in the United States 90% of users specified portals as their favourite Internet sites. These sites are superior to search engines, because they offer free information, news et cetera – and our TelecomConnect Portal Service links you to the world’s largest telecommunications market research database.

The service is fully operational in its current beta version, and will have close to 5,000 entries before the end of the year. Our main reason for releasing the portal in beta format is to allow you the opportunity of listing your organisation in our service.

To add an entry, or to edit an entry that currently exists, simply go to our Home Page (www.budde.com.au), select ‘Portal Service’, and choose either ‘add’ or ‘edit entry’.

As always, we would appreciate your feedback.

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BELL ATLANTIC TO LAUNCH 3G IN 1999 – DECEMBER 1998

Tuesday, December 1st, 1998

Bell Atlantic Mobile will begin phased introduction of new high-speed wireless data capabilities over its existing cdmaOneTM network in 1999. The next-generation wireless services are based on cdma2000 third-generation (3G) enhancements provided by Lucent Technologies.

The cdma2000 technology combines radio spectrum to create a larger ‘pipe’ for voice and data transmissions and can co-exist with the current cdmaOne network. This 5MHz multi-carrier scheme will allow the company to simultaneously serve current customers, yet will cost-effectively support mobile data rates nearly eight times faster than today’s modems.

Co-existence of 2G and 3G network elements will be assured by components operating at chip rates that are exact multiples of the cdmaOne standard (Editor’s Note: cdma2000 specifies 3.684 Mb/s)

Bell Atlantic Mobile will be able to geographically segment the market for these data services and maximise returns on its CDMA investment.

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